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Anime Central 2006

by Mikhail Koulikov,
Manga Entertainment
Representative: Keith Burgess

At an Anime Central that was characterized by an unusually understated industry presence, the Manga Entertainment panel, which featured Keith Burgess, was, in turn, unusual for how much information was made public.

New licenses include the TV series Noein, and Tokko, which Burgess described as a combination of Bleach and Vampire Hunter D. Manga has also licensed the live-action movie Tokyo Zombie. Due for release no earlier than the second half of 2007, it will be the first live-action title Manga has brought out in quite some time.

Upcoming releases Manga is currently working on are: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, the Street Fighter 2 movie, Tactics, and Karas volume 2. Castle of Cagliostro, due out on July 25, will feature a new digital transfer and interviews with Lupin III creator Monkey Punch and animation director Yasuo Ōtsuka. Manga may also be able to include a storyboard gallery on the DVD.

Street Fighter 2 will be completely uncut and include both the original Japanese track (including music) and the grunge and heavy metal songs used in the US release. It will also be a new transfer. In addition to the standard release, there may be a limited-edition collector's box made available, which will include an action figure designed by McFarlane Toys or Four Horsemen.

According to Burgess, Tactics will be a "really quick release"; Karas volume 2 is currently scheduled for September 26. Manga will also working on a Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG box set, but unlike the first season box, it most likely will not be tin, since previous tin box sets have been damaged very easily during shipping.

At this point, Manga still has the rights for the Neon Genesis Evangelion movies. If, as the 10th anniversary of their Japanese release approaches, any new material becomes available, Manga will produce a US re-release as well. On the other hand, the company no longer holds the rights to the Angel Cop, Devilman, and Orguss 02 OAVs. This is in addition to the now-expired licenses for Guyver, Red Hawk, Gunbuster, Wings of Honneamise, and the first two Patlabor movies.

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